Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Onions

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Figs! When they’re in season, well the box filleth over. If you have ever had a fig tree, you know what I mean. Fig trees rain figs. (Oddly they rain leaves too. When it comes time, one day you have leaves on the tree, the next day, none. They all drop at once.)

My parents have a green fig tree, Hank has a Mission fig tree, so we are doubly blessed. Personally I prefer the mission figs; the flavor is more intense.

Hank brought over some of his figs, with which we made a fig galette, and with which we made this awesome caramelized onion, balsamic, rosemary, fig accompaniment to pork tenderloin. I liked the fig onions so much I made them again today for lunch and ate them all, with a few slices of leftover tenderloin. Yum!

Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Onions

Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Onions Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about a pound each
  • Salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 8-10 mission (dark) figs, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Black pepper

Method

1 Salt the pork tenderloins well and set them out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Heat the oven to 300°F.

2 Slice the onion into strips lengthwise (from the top to the root end). Cutting the onion this way helps keep the pieces hold their shape. (See How to caramelize onions for a visual).

3 Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels. Place the tenderloins in the pan and sear on all sides, until nicely browned. Remove the tenderloins to an oven-proof pan, and place in the oven at 300°F. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the tenderloins reaches 140°F. Then remove from oven and let rest.

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4 While the tenderloins are roasting, add the onions to the sauté pan along with the other tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and toss to combine again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.

5 Once the onions have softened and browned, add the rosemary and figs. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir to combine. Sauté 2 minutes, stirring often.

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6 Remove from the heat. Mix in the parsley and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the pork tenderloins into 1/4-inch thick slices and serve alongside the onions and figs.

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Showing 4 of 22 Comments

  • Pamela whitehead

    Can I use dried mission figs. Fresh figs are hard to come by where I live.

  • Dawn

    INCREDIBLE recipe!!! This week we found some early season figs in our local supermarket in France. I had a spare pork tenderloin in the freezer, so this recipe had to be on the menu. I made a couple of minor changes. First, I seasoned the pork with salt and also Herbes de Provence, as I couldn’t get my hands on any fresh rosemary, and I didn’t want to add (hard) dry herbs to the briefly cooked onion/fig mixture. Secondly I substituted half of the butter for olive oil, partly for health, and partly because in my hands, the butter is less likely to burn when I do this. Third, I set our mini convection (fan) oven to 155C (~325F). I checked the meat temperature after 20 mins, it was 120F. It needed another 8 mins to reach 135F, at which point I removed it, rested it (covered with foil) for 10 mins and then saw a perfect 145F in the thickest part of the meat.

    We served the pork with the fig sauce and some fingerling potatoes. Oh my, we were in gourmet heaven! Somehow the figs took on a complex honey flavor, almost like very expensive artisan Lavender flower honey. Absolutely fabulous meal, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  • Justin

    This was. AMAZING

  • Elise Lafosse

    This was excellent. My husband loved it. Loved the fig and onion dressing. Am making it again next week! Thank you. Elise

  • Vic

    Wow! Made this last week with Mission Figs from Whole Foods Market… the family said it was one of the best things that I’d ever made them for dinner! I added a few more figs than called for, and should have added more onions too… they went quick. Now I need a cast iron skillet to better brown the pork :)

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